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Mara’s Lone Adventures


Mara has been enjoying adventures by herself recently. When she decides she wants to wander, she tends to go. She doesn’t wait for Rana (or wait for anything, not even Scott delivering pumpkins); she just goes.

Rana is incredibly food-oriented – specifically hay oriented. We are feeding Mara extra food – and additional meals – to keep her weight up, so there is generally lots of food around Mara. If Mara is ready to head out into Yard 4, Rana isn’t interested in following until all the hay is gone. In general, Rana has a bit of a tendency to laziness, which is compounded when staying put involves more hay snacks. Rana is aware when Mara leaves, and she has the option to follow Mara – just like Mara has the option to wait for Rana. It is an intentional choice on both their parts to separate at times. They both seemed very laid back and relaxed about this recent independence.

Sometimes, Rana will head out to Mara after a few hours. Other times, Mara will head back to Rana. Still other times, they will stay apart for the majority of the day.

When Mara leaves Rana, she frequently heads near the pond in Yard 4 to swim or to graze. The ponds are rapidly filling back up, making them a little cooler than usual since the rain is on the chilly side. Mara seems to enjoy the cooler water. Today’s video is Mara playing in the pond by herself. On this day, Mara was in Yard 4 before breakfast and spent the day out there. Rana spent that entire day with Bambi. By dinner time, she was back near the barn, happy to be back with Rana.

They don’t seem to look lost or call to each other, even when they get a little lost trying to find each other. One recent evening, Mara headed back to the barn but went to Yard 3, where she found a closed gate – and Bambi through the fence. The two were happily hanging out. We found Rana alone in Yard 2, so we fed her part of the way to the others, and, once she finished eating, she found Mara and Bambi, and they had a mini-party. Another night, Rana came back but found a closed gate near the square. We led her to Mara, who was near the back of Yard 3. The two were very happy to see each other, with lots of happy ear flaps, and they quickly walked off together in Yard 4.

It’s a good sign of how secure Rana & Mara are that they don’t feel any anxiety or concern when they are apart. It’s an excellent level of independence for both of them, because, as we all know, sometimes you don’t want to do exactly what your best friend is doing.

Comments(22)

  1. REPLY
    Sharon says

    Oh wow !! This video really melted my heart. Such a big change in Mara. She was so insecure about being away from Rana at one stage. It’s lovely to see them ‘just being elephants’

  2. REPLY
    Julie says

    So many choices in sanctuary! This is a good sign. I feel warm and fuzzy all over knowing the girls are getting over their PTSD with the help of the sanctuary and wonderful, talented caregivers. Thank you for the post! Very nice!

  3. REPLY
    Allison Guy says

    How happy Mara is. It is lovely to see!

  4. REPLY
    Lane says

    So sweet to see. BTW, you don’t need to put music behind the videos. It’s much more fun to hear the actual sounds of nature. Thanks again for all you do .

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      The video was from the camera system, so we didn’t disturb her. Unfortunately, it doesn’t pick up sound at all, just visuals.

  5. REPLY
    Carey says

    One of the most beautiful videos because of all that it means. It’s very moving to see how she feels safe enough to simply be an elephant, at last…

  6. REPLY
    Barb says

    Wow! That was precious seeing Mara’s “me time”. So peaceful and wonderful solitude! Thank you for sharing those moments. Music was appropriate too.

  7. REPLY
    Lila Nieto says

    Oh, thank you so much for this long video. It’s like… great meditation.

    Of course, the normal behavior and social dynamic of a healthy sanctuary like this are so different to how Asian elephants interact in the wild, I guess. In sanctuary they come from brutal and unnatural backgrounds, and once they arrive here and find peace and herd, for one thing they don’t need to migrate for food, like herds in the wild. There are no babies. Many things must be different, which doesn’t mean something bad necessarily, only different.

    What do you think of this? I would love to read a post about this, since you must know so much and you write so well.

  8. REPLY
    elaine richard says

    So happy to see Mara playing in the water, just like the freely roaming elephants we loved seeing on a life-changing visit to Zimbabwe and Hwange nature reserve, where they are safe.

  9. REPLY
    John says

    How lovely that she enjoys time in the pond by herself. I’m curious if they have to do anything to the water to keep it somewhat clean, or maybe that isn’t an issue….

    • REPLY
      Kat Blais says

      We use a pool skimmer to clean out the dung balls, but during the rainy season, the pond is refreshed almost daily by new, cool rains.

  10. REPLY
    Sherry says

    Love this video and the music, too.❤️

  11. REPLY
    FRANCINE FORD says

    This video & It’s description is proof that SANCTUARY HEALS! It’s so Zen & meditative. Add knowledge of Mara’s past in the mix & you have a complete ele, confident in her desire to do as she pleases, when she pleases & however she pleases, being the cherry on top. Way to go & go & go Mara! A very BEAUTIFUL video. Thank you so much for sharing these incredible souls who lives you have changed forever. In turn changing all of our lives forever.
    ❤🐘❤🐘❤🐘❤🐘❤

  12. REPLY
    SHEILA says

    WELL DEAR 🐘MARA! IS LIKELY FEELING BETTER! MORE ENERGY! SHE FEELS THE NEED TO DO POND WHALING🐘🐳. MARA IS REALLY ENJOYING HERSELF FOR SURE❗️. AND PERHAPS. SHES JUST WANTING SOME ALONE TIME!
    COULD THIS INDEPENDENCE BE A RESULT OF. PUTTING RANA🐘 AND 🐘BAMBI IN A YARD TOGETHER FOR HALF A DAY VISITS WHILE MARA WHEN SHE WAS NOT FEELING WELL WAS JUST LUNCHING AT BARN ?? MAYBE IT WAS A GOOD THING AS BAMBI REALLY NEEDS VISITS TOO! THEY ALL SEEM TOMBE HAPPY IN THIS STORY SO THIS IS WONDERFUL IF RANA IS GAINING WEIGHT AND HAPPIER😍

  13. REPLY
    Tracy H says

    This fills me with so much joy and happiness for all these beautiful girls. Just knowing they have the choice to do whatever, whenever is what this special place is all about. Love to each and everyone of you who make this possible. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas 🎄🎄🎄and I can’t wait to see all the new 🐘🐘🐘 2021 brings to sanctuary …

  14. REPLY
    Jan Van Patten says

    Ahhh a Calgon moment- people of a certain age from the US will know what that is. I hope she is enjoying as much as I enjoy watching. Just delightful❣️❣️❣️

  15. REPLY
    bo says

    the word zen comes to mind again.
    so lovely to see.

  16. REPLY
    Sallie says

    What a precious vid! Mara is happy and playful in her sweet pond. I am thrilled for her, allowing herself some “Me” time!

  17. REPLY
    Rosie P says

    A wonderful video. It is so relaxing and soothing to watch Mara simply be……actually very moving. It is a video for reflection and meditation. An elephant feeling safe and doing what elephants do. I can want for nothing more at this point in time….it’s bliss!

  18. REPLY
    Kelejan says

    Just doing nothing but watching an elephant wallow in a pond. So soothing. Thank you,

  19. REPLY
    Rachel says

    A spa day for Mara, how wonderful. This is one video I’m going to watch again when I need some meditative time. I could feel my spirit relax for a few minutes, something I need more often than I realize. Beautiful to watch and lovely, uplifting update. Thanks for sending both. ❤️

  20. REPLY
    Gladys says

    Hola! Estoy buscando pero no encuentro actualización del estado de salud de Mara!! Podrias contarme o decirme donde puedo informarme por favor! Quiero saber como sigue de su pancita! Gracias gracias gracias!

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